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‘Professional student’ describes being stuck in loop fueled by loan debt

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Posted: Saturday, June 2, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:19 am, Sat Jun 2, 2012.

My name is Matt Wilson, and I'm under fairly significant debt pressure. Not from credit cards, or car payments or mortgages. No, my debts are academic in nature — I owe close to $54,000 in student loans.

In 2007, I attended an expensive private school in an attempt to receive a Bachelor of Science in software development.

Two years later, after a major curriculum change that prevented me from being able to learn effectively, I dropped out.

Now, these loans weigh constantly on my mind.

It's hard to ignore $54,000 — especially when Sallie Mae sends me almost monthly reminders.

Yet at the same time, it's hard to think about them. I'm 22. I don't have an undergraduate degree. Thanks to the recent troubles in the economy, I haven't been able to find full-time employment.

How am I supposed to even consider paying back $54,000?

Unfortunately, the best answer I've found is to just ignore them as best I can.

The way student loans are set up, combined with difficulties finding employment and community college fee waivers, have made it easier to become a professional student of sorts instead of finding ways to begin repayment.

The simple truth is that as long as I remain in school, I don't have to pay these loans back.

I can stay right where I am, and scrape by on part-time jobs while taking a few classes.

Am I proud of it? No. Do I wish I could find a job that would allow me to begin repayment, or possibly go to another four-year university and finish my degree? Absolutely.

But it's difficult. Without some equivalent of a full-time job, I can't really begin to pay back my loans. Since I can't pay back my loans, I stay in community college so I don't have to begin repayment. And since I remain a student, it's difficult to find a full-time job.

And that's exactly the way the past few years have played out for me. As much as I would love to finish my degree, it's hard to justify adding even more debt to the pile. So I just continue on as I have been — frozen in place by my student loans, trapped in an infinite loop.

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2 comments:

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 1:58 pm on Sun, Jun 3, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9403

    I can't imagine a parent, teacher (h/s or college) or a Guidance Counselor (h/s or college) who would encourage a child to assume $54,000 in debt.

    Hummm...why?

    Teachers in college are paid by student's tuition. Students pay their tuition mainly by student loans. Many teachers would be unemployed if it were not for students that obligate themselves to these educational loans....

    Given the above, I could easily imagine a teacher encouraging a student to incur debt.

     
  • Don Hoffman posted at 5:17 pm on Sat, Jun 2, 2012.

    colnago4ever Posts: 2

    I can't imagine a parent, teacher (h/s or college) or a Guidance Counselor (h/s or college) who would encourage a child to assume $54,000 in debt. Did he expect to become partners with Bill Gates? There hasn't been this much mass delusion since Jonestown... pass the purple Kool Aid.

     

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